News & Events

Understanding the World Through Aesthetics: A Panel Conversation

Event Details

Public Events

Location: Virtual

Date: March 31, 2021

Time: 11:30am - 1:30pm

Colloquium Cultural Studies Speaker Series, Understanding the World through Aesthetics: A Panel Conversation, Wednesday March 31, 2021, 11:30 - 1:30 EST on Zoom

We are thrilled to announce our upcoming Cultural Studies Colloquium event, and our final “official” session of the year,กฐUnderstanding the World Through Aesthetics, a conversation featuring Elvira Hufschmid (Doctoral Research Fellow at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre), Sunny Kerr (Curator of Contemporary Art at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre), and Dr. Erica Caden (Research Scientist at SNOLAB).

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 | 11:30 a.m. จC 1:30 p.m. (EST) 
Please note that this event will take place as a Zoom webinar and requires pre-registration. To register, please click here:

Understanding the World through Aesthetics:
What impact does art have on physics?  What is the potential of art and science collaborations to allow for inspiration to cross (disciplinary) boundaries? In what ways can aesthetics help to contextualize science from a multiplicity of perspectives? Throughout March, a transdisciplinary research team met online to review artworks and discuss emerging questions on art and science collaborations as part of Understanding the World through Aesthetics, a transdisciplinary works in the context of Drift: Art and Dark Matter, an exhibition at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. This public panel conversation caps off a series of sessions with physicists focused on direct encounters with art in the interest of sharing ways of knowing across disciplines.

We encourage you to visit the Drift: Art and Dark Matter exhibition in advance of the session. The Agnes is open to the public during these times:

Tuesday – Friday: 10 am – 4:30 pm
Thursday: 10 am – 9 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 1 – 5 pm

For those of you are unable to see the exhibition in person, it is also available to experience virtually:


Dr. Erica Caden completed her undergraduate degree in physics at The College of New Jersey and completed her PhD at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA working on the Double Chooz experiment. She moved to Sudbury, Ontario as a postdoctoral fellow at Laurentian on SNO+, and became a Research Scientist at SNOLAB in 2016. Erica works on the neutrino experiments at the lab: SNO+, HALO, and nEXO. She is passionate about science communication, expressing scientific ideas through art, and making sure there is room for everyone who wants to join the scientific community.

Sunny Kerr is a male settler of Scottish and Irish descent living and working in Katarokwi/Kingston, Ontario. As Curator of Contemporary Art at Agnes Etherington Art Centre with adjunct teaching appointments at Queenกฏs University, Kerr thinks with the experiences, provocations and potentials of art and the uneasy legacies of culture amid the urgencies of racist violence and climate change. He continually tries to contextualize and put his work in reciprocal dialogue with inventive artistic thinking-making. Recent curatorial work includes Drift: Art and Dark Matter and projects with artists Yam Lau, Tau Lewis, Chris Kline, Ciara Phillips, Judy Radul, Walter Scott and Ibghy and Lemmens. He explores curatorial thinking with graduate students in Screen Cultures and Curatorial Studies, Department of Film and Media while pursuing a doctorate in Cultural Studies at Queenกฏs University.

Elvira Hufschmid is a multimedia artist of German descent and a current Doctoral Research Fellow at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. Her current research focuses on Aesthetic Transformation processes as a methodology for inter จC and transdisciplinary collaboration and learning. In her PhD research in the Queenกฏs University Cultural Studies program, she applies an Aesthetic Transformation strategy to investigate narratives of land enclosure as they relate to colonial property regimes of the settler society. As a collaborator in the SSHRC-funded art and science project: Leaning Out of Windows – Art and Physics Collaborations through Aesthetic Transformations – and an affiliated researcher at the Berlin Centre for Advanced Studies in Arts & Sciences (BAS), Berlin University of the Arts, Germany (2017-19) she co-investigates the ways in which metaphor acts as a common code between art and science. Elvira holds an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, US, and she taught as a Visiting Artist at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver, BC, as well as a Guest Professor for ‘Artistic Transformation Processes’ at the Berlin University of the Arts, Germany.

The Drift: Art and Dark Matter exhibition takes place in collaboration with Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astro-particle Physics Research lab and SNOLAB.

Understanding the World Through Aesthetics was made possible thanks to the generous funding from the Queen’s Cultural Studies program and a MITACS Research Training Award.

Everyone is welcome — please share the event widely!